Several studies have shown that sleep deficits are linked with poor work performance driving accidents, relationship issues, and mood problems including anger and even depression. During sleep your body re-balances hormones, and the benefits of getting the recommended 8 hours of shut-eye every night support the health of your heart, a healthy body weight, mood, mental functions and much more.
About 20% of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they need and the number of Americans that report getting 8 hours had decreased in recent years. If you are one of the millions of sleep deprived Americans who spends nights tossing and turning, here are a few things to avoid to help you get the rest you need.
Stimulants and Foods That Keep You Up
Caffeine, sugar and other stimulants can get your mind and body revved up, keeping you from dream land. What you might not know though is that even taking in caffeine any time after lunch may still affect your sleep patterns. Foods to avoid before bed include; sweets, celery, carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, candy, chocolate, garlic and red meat. Most of these foods are high in fat, or convert in the body to sugars and then act as a stimulant. Avoiding hard-to-digest meals before bed is another way you can end up counting sheep.
The TV can stimulate areas of the brain and trigger a stress response that keeps you up at night. May people think that the background noise is relaxing them, and this may be true but programs like the news, sports games and action movies can keep your mind awake and may cause stress, and even unconscious anxiety. So if you enjoy the tv at night, choose something light-herated or comedic, to keep from disrupting your sleep. The buzz of the electronic signals in your bedroom is also something that tells your mind, “stay awake.” So, try to power off before you go to bed.
Many people use alcohol as a relaxant to induce sleep. This may provide temporary relief but the truth about alcohol and sleep is that it prevents deeper stages of sleep and actually disrupts your rest. You may find that alcohol can cause you to wake in the middle of the night, so you don’t get a full 8 hours of rest.
Keeping a time frame that you stop everything and go into your bedroom to prepare for sleep is a great habit to develop. Your body has a natural rhythm, called a circadian rhythm that helps regulate the time you go to sleep. It can easily become disrupted and by going to bed around the same time every night, even if you aren’t tired you tell your mind and body “The day is over, time to relax.” It’s a subconscious act but your body clearly understands. This learned behavior can offer you restful sleep every night, if you make an effort to maintain it.
A Messy Bedroom
Habits that promote good sleep also include reducing anything that causes stress or anxiety in your sleep space. The bedroom is a place that should be reserved just for sleep. If you have a bed cluttered with pillows, decor and books laying all around your night stand you might have a reaction to that environment that causes negative effects on your sleep pattern. Clear everything but a few pillows off your bed, and keep everything well organized to eliminate stress from your sleepy head for a great snooze.
There are many things that can happen in a day, week or month that destroy your healthy sleep pattern, but by following the tips provided you can better avoid common sleep problems. If you find your sleep habits are badly disrupted or your stress levels at the end of the day keep you up despite your best efforts, calming teas like Valerian Root Tea, Chamomile Tea and/or a natural Melatonin supplement can help you get back on track. Try them out for yourself, and shop here for relaxing, sleep inducing tea.